OpenBSD Journal

IPMI Support in OpenBSD

Contributed by jolan on from the sensors-sensors-senors dept.

Thanks to Wu for writing in with the following:
Marco Peereboom sent an email to misc@ last week which details the new IPMI support in OpenBSD. Here's a little exert from Marco's mail to get you started:

The ipmi term Intelligent Platform Management refers to autonomous monitoring and recovery features implemented directly in platform management hardware and firmware. The key characteristics of Intelligent Platform Management is that inventory, monitoring, logging, and recovery control functions are available independent of the main processor, BIOS, and operating system.

More OpenBSD-specific IPMI can be found in the ipmi(4) man page. It is quite interesting as it provides support for some sensors like the ones used in Dell PowerEdge servers.

(Comments are closed)


  1. By dev () dev on

    very nice so all Intel Server Boards should work too, its nice becouse you can monitor those values via netsaint/nagios plugins.

  2. By Richard () on

    I have to admit to being somewhat confused by this. I have an intel server that supports this functionality in the hardware / BIOS, and I can just talk to the BMC directory remotely over the network, and it works very nicely indeed.

    ...and that's the point ...you don't NEED a driver (it works even if there is no OS running or even if the main board is not powered up!).

    I'm not knocking it (I'm sure it's very good) but I'm sorry, I just don't 'get' the point of this (or is this a driver for the client remotely connecting to the BMC? Not that you need one there either)

    1. By Richard () on

      Ignore me - I'm talking rubbish (again!). I only looked at the man page (well, I thought THAT would be the thing to do!). Now I've read the misc post and I can see what's going on now.

      Very nice indeed - I like it!

    2. By Paladdin () on

      I think you could rely on this feature mainly to send administrative alerts. Sure your BIOS can take over a failure and set things according but, what about if motherboard runs out of resources even before you remember to check it status? It'll stop!

      Take out that box tamper switch to your rack door, and you could even check if somebody is playing with your machine, almost inmediatly and without moving from your desk.

      With impi and sensorsd systems can send you and email instantly alerting about what's going on. Very nice! :)

  3. By Anonymous Coward () on

    I would definitely like to use this but unfortunately I deal with a lot of beige boxes instead of big vendor hardware. Ofcourse I'm not doing this by choice but I hope this changes soon. In the mean time, anyone using IPMI add-on cards in standard, off-the-shelf motherboards? Or is that not possible? I would love to use this and get temperature readings, fan statistics. Doubt I would be able to see if the chassis cover is open like it says in the mailing list post but something is better than nothing. If possible please be specific about motherboard models and add-on cards so that I can research them. Thanks guys and girls (who am I kidding?).

    1. By Brad () brad at comstyle dot com on

      IPMI is not limited to the large vendors. But don't expect IPMI on workstation motherboards which is most likely what you're using. Intel server boards have IPMI for example. In Intel speak they refer to IPMI as "Intel Server Management" on their motherboards, if you look at the web-page on that it'll mention IPMI.

      1. By Ian McWilliam () on

        It's wonderful to see Intel keeping Telnet access alive in 2005 in Intel® Management Module - Advanced Edition. And I bet the KVM console session is unencrypted too. Wonder how many passwords fly by on the wire using this overbloated piece of crud.

        1. By tedu () on

          one would hope the management ports are on a different segment...

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